Archive | October, 2009

Love/Hate: Halloween

30 Oct



1)  Trick-or-Treat. I love everything about trick-or-treat.  I loved to trick-or-treat when I was a kid and I love to get trick-or-treaters now.  I think that one of the reasons that I love when trick-or-treaters visit our house is because when I was younger, we lived in a place that didn’t get any trick-or-treaters unless my aunts and uncles drove my cousins to our house and even then, they’d call ahead and we knew they were coming so it was no surprise at all.  Same went for us.  We didn’t have anywhere to trick-or-treat near our house so my mom would drive us to the houses of extended family members or my grandma would take us trolling for candy in her neighborhood.  We didn’t care all that much, we still got candy (or sometimes Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips– what a treat!) and got to show off our sweet, and usually homemade, costumes.

2)  Special Halloween treats. One of the perks of having your mom drive you to people’s houses that you know to trick-or-treat is getting special Halloween treats like candy apples or homemade popcorn balls.  Man, that was always so awesome and we knew the people so we could totally eat the treats.  I mean, if I had kids and some people we didn’t know tried to give them homemade treats, we’d slowly back away from the house and have the conversation about stranger danger.

3)  Having plans. I love all holidays because they mean that you have fun plans like a fancy dinner, family get-togethers, or other festivities.  Halloween might be the best though because you don’t have to buy gifts for anyone and you get to pretend that you’re someone else for the evening.

4)  Costumes. When you have plans for Halloween that usually means that you get to dress up in a costume which is awesome!  I mean, what other time of the year can you dress up in a costume and walk around and not have people think that you’re some kind of weirdo?  Although, I did see a grown man dressed as what I think was supposed to be a WWE wrestler in Kroger yesterday.  He was wearing a championship belt.  I kinda thought he was a weirdo.  Anyways, I especially love clever Halloween costumes.  Dressing up as a witch, vampire, or hobo is SO unoriginal.  I know that I’m kinda biased but my husband had one of the most original Halloween costumes ever last year:   Touchdown Jesus.  He was accompanied by Mary Magdalene cheerleader and Coach God.  Well done.

5)  Halloween-themed TV episodes. Nothing pleases me more than a good Halloween episode.  Although, I don’t think that many TV shows have Halloween episodes anymore.   Take The Office for instance, in Season 2, they had a Halloween episode but since then they’ve kinda missed the special Halloween episode boat.  In Season 3, they celebrated Diwali instead, in Season 4 there was the writers’ strike and most of the episodes sucked anyway, and then in Season 5 and 6, they only minimally celebrated Halloween in the cold opens.  BOR-ING!  What happened to the good ol’ days?  Even now as I’m typing this, I’m flashing back and forth between Halloween episode reruns of Reba and RoseanneRoseanne was good for a yearly Halloween episode as was Home Improvement.   I just love Halloween episodes!  They are always good for some special effects, fabulous costumes, entertaining pranks, or a spooky mystery.  Laughter always ensued.  Well, except for that Halloween episode of Beverly Hills 90210 where the night began with Kelly dressed up as a slutty witch and ended with Steve punching some creeper in the face.  That actually turned into a “very special episode,” they aren’t as fun as Halloween episodes.


1)  Mischief. Last night, four too-old-for-trick-or-treat young men rang our doorbell with pillow cases in hand.  They weren’t even wearing costumes and didn’t even say “Trick-or-Treat!” or “thank you” but we gave them candy anyways because egg is really hard to get off of your car and house.  It’s really unfair that the fear of neighborhood mischief scared us into giving those hooligan-wannabes candy.  Otherwise, I would’ve shut the door and told them to come back with a costume if they really wanted some candy.  And we have good candy, too.

2)  Candy corn. I don’t necessarily want to start The Great Candy Corn Debate of 2009 with Vitamin G but I do have to respectfully disagree that candy corn is an acceptable Halloween treat.  Candy corn is the most disgusting candy that I have ever eaten.  The only thing more gross are those awful candy corn-ish harvest pumpkins.  The smell actually makes me want to vomit.  And don’t even get me started on taste; it’s like a combination of sugary grit, wax, and disgusting rolled into one.  I do appreciate that many people like to eat it layer by layer, I do that with my Kit-Kat bars.

3)  Not having plans. Nothing is more depressing than not having plans on Halloween.  If you don’t have a party to go to, at the very least, you should carve a pumpkin, watch a scary movie, or wander through a corn maze.  Since I used to work in residence life, I have plenty of practice in not having plans on Halloween.  Unless you count plans that include visiting drunk college students in the emergency room and then calling their parents.  If you do, then my Halloweens of past were full of excitement.

4)  Slutty costumes. Sometimes going out to a bar on Halloween is totally not worth it because all the women are dressed as slutty something.  Each year, the slutty costumes get even more outlandish, kinda like this.

5)  People who believe Halloween is about worshipping the devil. If there is anything less about worshipping the devil, it’s when little kids dress up as princesses and X-Men and ask for free candy.  This is why I get so upset when I hear people dogging on Halloween and dubbing it, “the devil’s holiday.”  When I was a kid, this awful woman at my church told my mom that she was a horrible mother for letting us believe in Halloween.  My mom cried, we still went trick-or-treating, and that woman remained a be-otch for the rest of her life.  Happy Halloween!


Trick-Or-Treat Wrap Up

30 Oct


Last night was trick-or-treat night here.  If you think it’s odd that trick-or-treat night is its own separate night, apart from Halloween, you are right.  The policy here is that if Halloween falls on a Friday or Saturday, then trick-or-treat night gets moved to a school night.  The idea being  that fewer children-in-costumes-collecting-candy related shenanigans are going occur on a school night than on a weekend.  Trick-or-treating used to be on Halloween night regardless of what day of the week it was until 1986 when the governor was conned into using the state’s “rainy day fund” to pay for a study on the ratio of tricks to treats, and the conclusion was that having both events on the same night produced more mischief than a city of 40,000 could handle.  Of course, that study was nonsense and the “researchers” were actually out-of-work performance artists, yet we still have trick-or-treat on a different night than Halloween.

Here is a summary of this year’s trick-or-treating in my neighborhood:

Most popular costumes: Princess, vampire

Most outdated costumes: Luigi, power ranger

Least appropriate: The adults not dressed as anything who came up and took candy

Most surprising: No Hannah Montanas

Most annoying: When my weird neighbor called it a night early and dumped all of his gross cheap candy into my candy bowl

Funniest: Chubby kid in Slipknot t-shirt and leggings, really shy little girl in a dress and a bandana over her head throwing around slices of bread.

Most deceptive: Little girl who looked about 10 years old dressed as football player, but when she thanked me for the candy it was clear from her voice she was at least 40

Most entertaining: Fight between Batman and Wolverine

Best animal costume/cruelest treatment of animal: Dog dressed as quarterback

All in all, the costumes this year were pretty disappointing.  Also disappointing was the unwillingness of kids to climb up 18 steps to get free candy.  What is that?  This is free candy we’re talking about.  And while Weird Neighbor had old generic suckers leftover from the 90s, I had nothing but the good stuff.

(Rap) Music Not for Thinking

29 Oct

I may not like a lot of things like nosey neighbors, Guy Fieri, or vampires, but there’s one thing that I do like, rap music.  So when G wrote about some of her favorite top 40 songs last week, I knew that I had to add to this list of musical genius with some rap.  Now, I must say, that most rap is highly inappropriate.  But not everyone knows about the inappropriateness of rap music because rappers are very clever and use words that Middle America is unfamiliar with.  Well, guess what rappers?  There’s this nifty little website called and I have utilized it on many occasions to decipher your rhymes (feel free to check it out should you ever have any questions about rap terminology).  Anyways, I still like the tunes regardless of the meaning behind the lyrics and you should, too.  Here are some of my favorites.

Get Low- Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz

This video has everything that you would think a rap video would have:  grills, girls, and stripper poles.  The video and lyrics totally objectify women and I won’t even tell you what skeet (hint:  Urban Dictionary) really means.  But I can’t help it, I love this song.  It was even played at my wedding reception, clean (debatable) version, of course.  More than anything, I love that this song and Lil Jon’s popularity gave us this gloriously funny Dave Chappelle skit.

Simply put, the next three songs are about booties; booties that dance, swing, and dip low.  And I love them because I have a booty; why not own it and celebrate it with catchy rap music?

Ms. New Booty- Bubba Sparxxx

I became known for this song in graduate school.  My birthday cake in 2006 even said in icing “Happy Birthday Miss New Booty.”  Also, I love how Bubba spells his last name with triple Xs, smooth, Bubba, real smooth.  Does that help you pick up the ladies?  Does it?

Swing- Savage

This song never got enough play on the radio and it’s awesome.  This song is so awesome, they made a second and completely different music video for it.  (Wha? Why?)  I also like this jam because I like diversity.  Savage was born to Samoan parents in New Zealand, this makes him my second favorite rapper from New Zealand.

Drop it Low- Ester Dean featuring Chris Brown

Currently, my new jam.  Oh, you haven’t heard it yet?  I’m so hip?  I know and you’re welcome.  My favorite part about this video is a brief appearance by Nelly.  Whoa Nelly, where have you been?  Hanging out with Tim McGraw? Anyways, nice to have you back.

Hey, remember when Kayne West released really good singles?  Neither does he, because he’s a singer now, not a rapper.  Oh and did you know that singing just means vaguely singing a melody into Auto-Tune?  Yes, it’s true, as evidenced by this video clip of Kanye and his “singing” abilities.  I have faith in Kanye though because thus has been his pattern of an awesome album and then a terrible album with a few decent singles, and so on (The College Dropout (2004) = AWESOME, Late Registration (2005) = MEH, Graduation (2007) = AWESOME, 808s & Heartbreak (2008) = MEH).

Here are a couple Kanye singles to help us remember the good times.

The New Workout Plan- Kayne West

Jesus Walks- Kayne West

Halloween Candy Lineup

28 Oct


Super Bubble

Aliases: Cheap Candy, Gum

Characteristics: Hard as a rock pink gum that crumbles when chewed followed by a microsecond of chewable consistency, then returning to rock-like substance.

Charges: Managing to outnumber all other candy, losing flavor immediately after unwrapping, possessing zero potential for enjoyment.

Disposition: Guilty of wasting space and giving all candy a bad name.  If you are giving out Superbubble as Halloween candy, why don’t you go ahead and turn off the porch light and head in, because clearly you hate Halloween and everything it stands for.

raisins ew


Aliases:  Fruit, Anything Remotely Healthy, Anything with Raisins in it

Characteristics:  Comes in boxes vaguely resembling boxes of nerds, chewy brown and disgusting

Charges:  Attempting to make people forget the one day a year when the whole point of eating is to get cavities, acting all high and mighty with its all natural ingredients and no sugar or artificial coloring.

Disposition:  Guilty of committing Halloween hate crime.  If you are giving out any fruit this year, do yourself a favor and just dress up like a target and hand out eggs and toilet paper.


Unmarked Hard Candy

Aliases:  Grandpa Candy, Cough Drops

Characteristics: Creepy and anonymous, faded colors wrapped in cellophane

Charges: Another Halloween crime, disappointing children and making parents uncomfortable

Disposition: Dear Strange Old Wiry Guy Across the Street Who Tries to Give Out Unmarked  Hard Candy to Kids Every Day of the Year,  Halloween is no holiday from probation, so keep that gross candy to yourself.



Aliases: Sugar Daddy, Unidentifiable chewy rectangle in paper wrapper that never fails to stick to candy

Characteristics:  Starts out hard and then graduates into consistency of bubblegum laced with cement and superglue.

Charges:  Ripping out children’s teeth, breaking jaws and orthodontia, tasting not nearly good enough to justify damage to mouth

Disposition: Guilty of associating pain and suffering with candy eating.  If you are that worried about expenses this year, just buy what you can afford of the good stuff and borrow someone’s kid to go door to door and restock your supply.


Black Licorice

Aliases: Good & Plenty, nasty Twizzlers

Characteristics: Chewy, tastes like poison

Charges: Being disgusting and universally unwanted, sticking to teeth

Disposition:  Guilty of pretending that it’s the 1950s.  Peoples’ taste for black licorice went the way of their taste for gelled ham: out.

If you are harboring any of the above fugitives, please turn yourself into the authorities immediately.  If you are an unfortunate recipient of any of the stated offenders, try trading with some poor loser for any of the following acceptable candy:

Reeses, M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Butterfinger, Payday, Candy Corn (That’s right, Mondoo, candy corn.  It’s sweet and delicious and fun to bite off each layer.), Twix, KitKats, Mr. Goodbar, Anything with chocolate in it (as long as there are no raisins), Nerds, Tootsie pops, Sweet Tarts, Smarties, Whoppers, Junior Mints


27 Oct

In case you haven’t noticed, I use this blog to help people.  I warn readers about douchey celebrities, dangerous fair foods, and falling prey to working out.   Today’s post is no different.  I come to you with a warning.

I watch a lot of college football on the weekends for a couple of reasons: 1)  I like football, and 2) I like spending time with my husband and usually this is the only way for me to do so on the weekends.  Through the seasons, I’ve noticed a lot of creepy mascots and you need to know about them should you ever find yourself in their creeptastic presence.

[picapp src=”c/1/d/8/Georgia_v_Oklahoma_1fa9.jpg?adImageId=6835752&imageId=6335737″ width=”393″ height=”594″ /]

Pistol Pete, Oklahoma State

Pistol Pete (pictured above) actually inspired this cautionary post with his huge head, vacant eyes, and gun.  Tell me that you would not crap your pants if you met this man in a dark alley.  He’s scary in the daylight, I can’t imagine coming across him in the dark.  I doubt that he’s a good shot though, you know, since his eyes don’t move.

Bucky Badger, University of Wisconsin

You know what’s creepy?  Take otherwise cute and harmless woodland creatures and turning them into frightening half-animal, half-human mascots like Bucky here.  Plus, Bucky is into disco, what a creeper.

Rooney, Roanoke College

If we’ve learned anything from Bucky, it’s that there is nothing creepier than taking a small animal and supersizing it into a terrifying mascot.  Oh wait, yes there is, take a mean bird and make it 50 times its natural size.  Birds are terrifying, just ask my husband.  He’s totally creeped out by them.   I guess Rooney seems a little harmless, and by harmless I mean lazy.  Get up and elicit some cheers you stupid hawk.  (Photo credit:  Laura Campbell Photography)

The Duke, Duquesne University

The Duke just seems cartoony until he forces drugs on you and pimps you out on the streets of Pittsburgh.  I’m not overreacting, just look at his cane.

Oski the Bear, University of California

Oski kinda looks like Uncle Buck… if Uncle Buck were a creepy, child-molesting bear. Kids, steer clear of Oski’s house this Halloween.

Horned Frog, Texas Christian University

When I was a little Mondoo, I was super scared of Tokka and Rahzar from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films and upon seeing the Horned Frog from TCU, my mind went screaming back in time and I got a chill.  A creepy chill.

Swoop, University of Utah

Here’s yet another creepy half-animal, half-human mascot.  Even creepier than his scary bird head is Swoop‘s unnecessarily muscular body.  Swoop has obviously been partaking in some HGH.  If I were the University of Utah, I’d require a drug test, stat.   The Utes are currently 6 and 1, you don’t need that kind of controversy messing up your season.

Spidey, University of Richmond

Nothing is creepier than a big, hairy spider so when I found out that the University of Richmond mascot is a SPIDER, I had to check it out and just knew it would be creepy.  Well, while spiders are creepy, Spidey is just kinda sad looking. The poor thing isn’t intimidating at all.  His outfit looks like a Halloween costume that you can buy at Kmart.

Billiken, Saint Louis University

Do you know what a Billiken is?  Me neither.  But according to this picture, he is a scary, white devil who dresses like Mister Rogers.  In short, creepy.

Saluki, Southern Illinois University

Congratulations SLU, you’ve done it, you have the creepiest mascot in the history of mascots.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Saluki, try not to stare too long though, he will steal your soul.

Weddings: I Do

26 Oct

kitty wedding
I’ve been to a lot of weddings lately because I’m at that age where all my friends get married in rapid succession.  I think it carries on like this for another five years, and then slows down for a few years before hitting the wave of second marriages.  I’m actually not that cynical, but not because the statistics aren’t true.  I’m a believer because I’m a total sucker for weddings.  I love them all—religious, bohemian, new age, traditional, non-human.  Just give me a fancy dress, open bar and a couple professions of undying love and I’m like a nerd at a comic book convention.

The last wedding I went to was a beautiful traditional catholic one with a big reception at a country club afterward.  I loved not having a big sit-down dinner because no one notices how often you go back to the bar or when you set a plate down and walk away because you regret your buffet decisions.  The only thing I would have changed would have been not having my high school English teacher be the band’s guitar player.  But I suppose that could not have been anticipated.  No one wants to see old Mr. Creative Writing Get In Touch With Your Feelings jamming to James Brown and playing electric guitar behind his head.  It was like watching my parents play Rock Band or something.  To be fair, he was very talented, and my discomfort is no reason to kick the guy out of the band.

The wedding before that was outside in a rose garden with bicycles and banjos and then a big dinner at a winery followed by barefoot dancing and silly hats and, much later, my best friends hijacking the microphone for a round of Country Roads, among other fractions of songs we could remember at the time.  It was even happier, lovelier and quirkier than it sounds.

The wedding before that was unremarkable other than that I will probably never be invited to (and I wasn’t even really to this one—it was a vicarious invitation under my pseudonym, And Guest) a wedding that costs closer to $1 million.  That, and the delicious gourmet dinner had so many courses that there wasn’t really enough time to give justice to the 10 piece jazz band that played good dance music all night.

The wedding before that had a nacho bar.  When you do something that cool at your wedding you run the risk of “nacho bar” being the only thing people remember about your wedding.

I could go on.  Is it just me or is there a tiny element of suspense to weddings for everyone?  I can’t help but watch the vows with a little voice in the very back of my head wondering if they’re really going to do it.  I don’t wish a failed wedding on anyone, all I’m saying is that I would like to see someone run out, someone’s long lost lover return, or someone’s mid-vow admission of a sex change operation.  I mean, these things happen so often in movies that they have to happen in real life too sometimes, or where would movies get the ideas?

Another thing I love at weddings is when the cake is actually good.  I love cake, and I think it’s sad when people have big fancy cakes that taste like styrofoam–this is supposed to be a celebration!  Like those Ace of Cakes cakes.  They cannot taste good, I don’t care how many years of culinary school those people sat through (although from the looks of things they remind me of the kids who spent most of the school day eating munchies in a van in the parking lot), no one wants to eat fondant.  Alternatively, no one pays that much money for a cake that they want to remember the taste of.

Love/Hate: Going Home

23 Oct


My husband and I are traveling back to our hometown this weekend for a little visit and I can’t think of something that I both love and hate more equally than going home…


1)  Seeing family and friends. I have lived away from home for five years now, more if you count the college years, and so I love nothing more than going home and seeing family and friends.  Everyone is usually excited to see you and you’re not there long enough for anyone to get annoyed with you (or vice versa).  Just happy, good times.  I’m all about that.

2)  Going to my cousin’s football game. Well in this case, my cousin’s football game, but, in general, family gatherings.  One of the things that I miss the most about living away from my hometown is not being a part of the random family gatherings that occur.  Well this weekend, we’ll be able to attend my cousin’s senior night football game at our good ol’ high school and a Steelers party thrown by my husband’s cousin.  Two family gatherings in one weekend, should be fun.

3)  An action packed schedule. Some weekends, we search for things to do, but not weekends at home.  Because we’re only home for essentially two days, we have to cram a lot of activities and visits into those short 48 hours.  I love having things to do and people to see.

4)  The food. To my father, food is love and I love him for that.  He always wants to cook for us and I’m not talking little, regular meals; I’m talking large, almost-a-holiday meal.  And he usually cooks whatever I want because I’m his favorite daughter (although my two sisters may disagree) and sends home the leftovers with us on Sunday.  AND he usually makes special, unnecessary treats like gobs.  Not to be outdone, my father-in-law contributes to this “food is love” theory.  “Amanda, do you want donuts?”  “Nah, that’s ok.”  And then two dozen donuts appear for breakfast, and I usually eat two.  Going home also means that I get to eat local food favorites that you can’t get anywhere else like Galliker’s French Onion Dip.  My stomach is currently growling…

5)  Top 40 radio. I dunno why but we keep moving to these locales that aren’t usually up on the latest top 40 music, so one of our favorite things about traveling home is listening to the local top 40 radio stations.  We always hear some new jams, love them, and then usually don’t hear them again in our current city for another three to six months.  But at least we get to enjoy them for those two short days and become much cooler because if it.


1)  Seeing family and friends. When we go home, we feel obligated to see as many family and friends that we can.  And it’s pretty tough; we’re only home for 48 hours you know.  Seeing family and friends is so much easier when we visit during a holiday.  They are all in one place, one visit and done, more free time.  Sadly, our friends usually get the short end of the stick, but luckily not too many of them live in our hometown anymore and I only have one remaining friend from high school.  Ugh, high school was rough…

2)  Going to my cousin’s football game. Speaking of high school, did I mention that this cousin’s football game is at the high school that my husband and I attended years ago?  Ugh, it is.  There’s something so unnerving about visiting that school post-graduation.  And I ALWAYS see people that I know and they’re usually never people that you want to see, it’s those people.  You know the type that I’m talking about; the people who made high school and living in a small town totally obnoxious.  Halloween is coming up, maybe I can wear a disguise.

3)  An action packed schedule. It’s lovely to have things to do and family to see but man, it’s tiring.  Going home for the weekend is never relaxing and I never get to spend any one-on-one time with my husband aside from the car rides and I’m horrible and find that annoying (see #4).

4)  Traveling in the car. Please refer to Love/Hate: Married Life, Hate #1.

5)  Sleeping in a smaller bed. I don’t know how my in-laws (where we reside when visiting home) expect me to sleep in a queen-sized bed.  My husband is a big guy and he loves to take up space and steal the covers.  We require a king-sized bed.  It’s funny though (and I can tell you this because my grandma doesn’t own a computer or know how to work one and therefore, doesn’t read my blog) because we totally used to fit in a twin-sized bed in college.  With no problem.  And my husband was 60 lbs. heavier.  But we’re spoiled now with our king-sized bed and I can’t get a good night’s sleep in anything else.